Don’t be too quick to say “no”! You may not be in what economists define as a typical commodity business like selling corn and oats, but your competitors may have repositioned you into your customers seeing you as simply a commodity…at parity with every other (fill in the blank for your industry) company out there? So, what should you do?
THINK LIKE YOUR CUSTOMER: How are they going to evaluate your business? How are they going to judge you? For starters:
- WHAT IS YOUR COMPANY’S IMAGE? How does your website portray your company? How does your store…online or offline… compare with your competitors? I’ll never forget how “Larry” J.B. Robinson Jewelers recognized this when his then Cleveland-based 7-store chain began competing with big national chains in the malls. He created an “all blue” motif in his stores…walls, carpet, fixtures. “Look for us in the mall…we’re the blue store”. If you don’t have a point of differentiation…create one! And this was well before websites. It’s even easier today.
- WHAT IS SPECIAL ABOUT YOUR COMPANY? Do you offer anything that your competitors don’t? Do you have any special offers that you are known for? This is not simply a weekly special.
- HOW WELCOMING IS YOUR COMPANY? Do you make it easy and rewarding for customers to buy? Plentiful salespeople and no long lines or phone holds?
- HOW ARE YOUR EMPLOYEES DRESSED? Do they extend your brand or do they simply blend in?
- DO YOU HAVE A COMMUNITY COMMITMENT? What are you giving back? Future customers…especially the younger ones…are very conscious of this.
- AWARDS? MEMBERSHIPS? AFFILIATIONS? Prospects pay attention to these achievements. They lend credibility and points of differentiation.
We provide no service to you if we don’t act as a resource for you, since you will only succeed by hearing the truth and then acting on it! Yes, this is strong medicine, but you need to be aware of how your future customers see you.
Onward and Upward!